Personnel includes: Michael Jackson (vocals, various instruments); L.T.B., Vincent Price (vocals); Jeff Mirinov, Michael Thompson, Rob Hoffman, Jen Leigh, David Williams, Marlo Henderson, Christopher Currell, Paul Jackson, Dean Parks (guitar); Bill Bottrell (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, percussion); Steve Lukather (guitar, bass); Paul Peabody (violin); David Paich (piano, keyboards, synthesizer); Rod Temperton, Chuck Wild (keyboards, synthesizer); Steve Porcaro (keyboards, synthesizer, programming); Greg Phillinganes (keyboards, Rhodes, synthesizer); Nathan East (bass); Ndugu Chancler, John Robinson (drums); Ollie E. Brown, Richard Heath (percussion); Christa Larson, Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, Oren Waters (background vocals).
Producers include: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson.
HISTORY BOOK 1 contains one disc of Jackson's greatest hits and one disc of all-new songs. It features a 52-page booklet with liner notes by Janet Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as many never-before-seen photographs.
HISTORY BOOK 1 was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Album Of The Year. "You Are Not Alone" was nominated for Grammy Awards for Song Of The Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, and the Michael Jackson-Janet Jackson duet "Scream" was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.
Michael Jackson's double-disc HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I is a monumental achievement of ego. Titled "HIStory Begins," the first disc is a collection of his post-Motown hits, featuring some of the greatest music in pop history, including "Billie Jean," "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," "Beat It," and "Rock with You." It leaves some hits out -- including the number ones "Say Say Say" and "Dirty Diana" -- yet it's filled with enough prime material to be thoroughly intoxicating. The second disc, called "HIStory Continues," consists entirely of new material -- which also happens to be the first material he released since being accused of child molestation. "HIStory Continues" is easily the most personal album Jackson has recorded. References to the scandal permeate almost every song, creating a thick atmosphere of paranoia. Occasionally, Jackson produces some well-crafted pop that ranks with his best material: R. Kelly's "You Are Not Alone" is seductive, "Scream" improves on the slamming beats of his earlier single "Jam," and "Stranger in Moscow" is one of his most haunting ballads. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Rolling Stone (8/10/95, pp.55-58) - 3.5 Stars - Good - "...HISTORY's ultimate goal is to position Michael Jackson's music as a planet, a genre, a law....As time passes and singles break, maybe those superhuman plans will touch back down on earth."
Q (8/95, p.120) - 3 Stars - Good - "...HISTORY is basically an appeal on behalf of the rich and famous....the metallic clatter of jackhammer rhythms and Michael's own complaints remain this record's defining features..."
Musician (9/95, pp.86-87) - "...incorporates tougher musical textures and deliberately `blacker' vocal inflections....more open about expressing negative emotions....also more pointed about political and racial issues, moving from...safe genralities...to more controversial stances..."